Have you ever heard of “nomophobia” before? Nomophobia is the fear of being without one’s phone. Whether or not you’ve heard the word before, you’re probably very familiar with the fear. People are emotionally connected to their phones. They feel anxious if they miss a text. Phones are so ingrained in our lives now that many people find themselves absentmindedly checking their phones when they get bored, or even when they aren’t.
If you’ve ever spoken at an event, you’re probably very aware of this. You may be mid-presentation when you look out at the audience and realize that everyone is staring at their phones. It probably makes you feel a little uncomfortable, right? The truth is, it’s only uncomfortable if you haven’t given them a reason to look at their phones! If you’re someone who plans to speak at an event, or you’re an event planner, capitalize on your attendee’s phone addictions by giving them a reason to use their mobile devices.
Implementing a mobile event app has many advantages for an event. From personalized schedules and event floor maps, the options seem to be endless! One of the most beneficial aspects of an app though is the engagement it can spark during a session.
Understand Your Audience
One of the reasons your attendees may be tuning out mid-session is because they’re not being stimulated enough. It is hard to be an attendee and listen to hours of talks, even if they’re exciting. Your attendees want to talk and engage with other people. Failing to provide them with an outlet will likely result in them searching for it elsewhere. Typically, that tends to be on their phones. The good news is, if you use a mobile event app at your event, you have an easy way to re-engage. Incorporate a few polls throughout the presentation and have your attendees answer via their phones. This makes your attendees feel less like they’re being talked at and more like they’re involved in the conversation.
Better yet, give your attendees a “choose your own adventure” style presentation. To do this, ask them to pick what they want to hear about from a few topics you’ve prepared. This will really make your attendees feel like they’re involved in a conversation and ensures they’re hearing what they really want to hear.
Everything in our day-to-day lives is gamified nowadays. Just going to the grocery store has turned into a game. Being healthy and getting your steps logged on your Fitbit has become a competition among friends for who can get the most steps. Getting your coffee has become a race to get more stars. So why isn’t your event gamified? In-app photo scavenger hunts are a sure-fire way to increase attendee engagement. Not only does it get your attendees to explore the exhibition hall, it can also keep them more engaged during sessions! For example, have a click challenge to take a picture of the keynote speaker presenting, or of the Q&A during a panel discussion.
Hear What They Think
You may hear murmurs on the exhibit floor about your session, but otherwise, you won’t hear feedback until after the event. This isn’t ideal, as the session is no longer fresh in their minds and their feedback may have lost accuracy with time. What if you could get their feedback as soon as your session ended? Using a mobile event app, you have the ability to create session-level surveys your audience can complete right after your session has ended, giving you immediate feedback. This is especially important if you are running multiple sessions and want to adjust accordingly between each.
As the presenter, you can even give your audience a reason to use their phones. At the end of your session, ask your audience to get out their phones, open the app, and complete the survey. This helps ensure your attendees are giving feedback when it’s fresh in their minds.
Give a Voice to Everyone
Speaking up and sharing your voice doesn’t come naturally to everyone. In fact, if you’re anything like me, the idea of asking a question in front of a crowd is terrifying. Using the live Q&A feature in a mobile event app though eliminates the need for someone to draw attention to themselves while asking a question. The attendees would just need to submit their question through the app and a moderator would then ask the speaker for them. Another benefit of holding Q&A like this is that during the presentation, an attendee may have a very specific question and instead of having to remember it till the very end, they can easily submit it in the moment. Not only does running a Q&A session like this give everyone in the audience a chance to ask their questions, it also saves time and eliminates the awkward microphone passing game.